Donna Schaper: Border wall could disrupt ecosystems, biodiversity

(NCR Online) The possibility that a wall might be built separating the United States and Mexico is preposterous enough all on its own terms. It is a long, long border on our southern edge — 1,989 miles, to be precise. And some Mexicans already have a slogan: If they build it 20 feet, we will jump 40. On human terms, it is beyond ridicule, if not unprecedented as a Trojan sham.

What is even more perplexing, though, is what the built border wall would do to biodiversity. Foxes would no longer have holes, as Jesus might put it.

Ranchers on the border are making some of the most interesting arguments about “border control.” They don’t think the wall is ecologically wise. Animals will be cut off from their habitats. Over the years, they won’t mix as well. The “ecotone” — the point where two different ecosystems meet and integrate — will be lost and a phony national environment will come into being. The birds will probably be okay but any animal, including the human that can’t fly will be in trouble.

I remember when my daughter’s roommate, who is a white Texan, fell in love with a Mexican student at their college. Her parents flipped out, and I do mean flipped out, at the idea of cross-racial breeding, even though such a possibility was way down the road and as it proved, never quite happened. The couple broke up, even though the parents’ dismay made the Mexican wall’s absurdity less comical.

We assume that the walls will prohibit this kind of mixing up of the genomes, as if mixing up was not the clear destination of creation and evolution. [More]


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